Weekday launches from stealth with $2.2M in seed funding to rebuild trust in hiring processes
Finding the right talent has been a recent challenge, but the struggle to hire the right talent has been going on for a lot longer. A critical aspect of hiring is the reference check process, which has unfortunately devolved into a mere checkbox routine for recruiters.
Surprisingly, more than 95% of recruiters do not actively seek references from a candidate’s former colleagues to truly understand their past work performance, behavior, and suitability for the position. Recognizing these concerns, one Y-Combinator-backed tech startup has taken the initiative to tackle these hurdles.
Enter Weekday, a Los Angeles, California-based tech startup that’s on a mission to assist recruiters in obtaining references for potential hires directly from their colleagues and broader network. This new approach aims to provide concrete evidence of candidates’ skill sets and their suitability for specific roles. Additionally, the startup is also creating a platform where potential hires are endorsed by their co-workers, adding an extra layer of credibility to their profiles.
Today, Weekday emerged from stealth with $2.2 million in seed funding to revolutionize the hiring landscape, rebuild trust in hiring processes, and enhance outcomes for employers and workers. The round was led by Venture Highway, with participation from several influential angel investors.
Weekday’s approach is rooted in the notion that just as we rely on reviews before making purchases, a similar principle should apply to hiring. They believe that relegating reference checks to mere checkbox activities is insufficient in today’s context. The startup also aims to fulfill the role that LinkedIn should have played for recruiters. Their platform, centered around peer-group references, seeks to restore confidence in the hiring procedures and deliver better results for both employers and workers.
Founded in 2021 by Amit Singh, Anubav Malik, and Chetan Dalal, Weekday is a Y Combinator-backed startup solving for recruitment via its crowdsourced reference network. The company helps startups hire engineers who are vouched for by other software engineers. They have worked with over 100 companies (specializing in seed and Series A-funded startups) and have helped them hire CTOs, Tech Leads, and Senior Software Engineers. They have worked with companies like Coinbase, Clipboard Health, AtoB, Daloopa, Zepto, Round Finance, etc.
Weekday is a sourcing engine on auto-pilot for these companies, that finds candidates as well as facilitates outreach to them; and sends interested parties to interview with ready references. Customer testimonials, for your reference
Weekday has been in beta mode until now, originating from the founders’ personal challenges during a previous startup where hiring a tech team proved to be a pain point. Despite utilizing various tools, it took them three months to secure their first engineer, and even then, they weren’t fully convinced. Turning to their network for references validated the candidates and their skills, resulting in a nearly doubled candidate pipeline. Today, the three founders are translating this successful hiring approach into Weekday, initially focusing on tech hires.
Weekday invites software engineers to integrate their social networks (like LinkedIn and Contacts) and presents them with a pre-compiled list of potential talent to refer to various companies. By gamifying the process, Weekday makes this unique reference data accessible to recruiters. The platform encompasses references from multiple individuals, and the “Backchannel” feature allows companies to obtain background references (from past colleagues) for every candidate they interact with. This approach shifts the emphasis of hiring from resumes and interviews to genuine real-life experiences and competencies.
For companies, Weekday functions as an automated sourcing engine. It not only assists in identifying candidates but also automates outreach while providing instant reference checks. Within just four days of signing up, companies begin receiving candidate suggestions complete with readily available backchannel references, streamlining the interview process. In a statement, Weekday founder and CEO said:
“People check and rely on reviews nowadays for everything, be that going to a restaurant or buying anything on Amazon. But, when it comes to making the important decision of hiring someone, they are happy to rely on a self reported resume. We did a survey of more than 200 companies’ hiring process and while a majority did a basic background check on candidates (ie criminal record or whether they actually worked in their previous organization), less than 5% of companies use reference checks from previous colleagues to make their hiring decisions.”
He added, “This often leads to wrong hires. Eventually leading to firing; which ends up being detrimental to both employer as well as the employee. We want to change that. We want to solve the problem of lack of trust in the hiring process. We believe that a recruiting platform with “references” as the cornerstone is the solution that solves all these problems. We are what LinkedIn should have been.”
To date, more than 120 companies have employed Weekday to fulfill their hiring requirements. Recruiters find the platform appealing due to its extensive collection of passive candidates—individuals who are not actively seeking new job opportunities—endorsed by their peers. This results in a higher caliber of candidates compared to job board-centric platforms. Furthermore, as remote hiring gains traction, the importance of trust is heightened. For recruiters, having references readily available holds significant value in establishing that trust.
“While most other company functions like design, product, dev tools, and sales have seen breakthrough products in the last 5-6 years, recruitment still hasn’t. LinkedIn is a 20-year-old company that continues to be the de-facto platform for recruitment. We are partnering with Weekday as they try to change that” said Aviral Bhatnagar from Venture Highway
Presently, Weekday’s primary focus lies on aiding companies in hiring remote software engineers. The majority of these companies have their headquarters situated in the US, while a significant portion of the candidates originate from India and Southeast Asia.